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qt

 

Why is television rubbish?

An artist, feeling inspired, decided to paint an empty room white. Closing the door to the room at the end of the day, he felt fulfilled, the empty room was completely white; floor, ceiling, walls - all white. Mission accomplished. 

That evening he was entertaining an artist friend and his ego got the better of him - he decided to share his latest creation - the empty white room, with his guest. He opened the door to the white room and both men peered in from the door. Very interesting said the friend but it needs something, perhaps a pair of old shoes. The artist removed his shoes and threw them into the room - the creation was complete.

All this occurred in the days before the Turner Prize, otherwise the artist in question would have been much the richer and feted as a celebrity. In fact, the White Room with Shoes was a little known piece and little remarked outside of a coterie of people living in an insulated dreamlike bubble.

However, the story of this artist provides us with an explanation as to why television is rubbish - we call it the 'empty room principle'.

TV companies buy a slice of the broadcasting airwaves and feel the need to fill it. And fill it they do, with vacuous rubbish, 24 hours a day.

Once, when the BBC had nothing to show, they gave us the Test Card. The most famous test card of all, Test Card F. Designed by George Hersee and featuring his daughter Carole, that made its first appearance on BBC2 in 1967.

The test card dates back to the 1947. It's reintroduction would be infinitely preferable to Ant and Dec, and celebrity scientists and historians. In fact, even Ant and Dec would be preferable to Brian Cox and Niall Ferguson.

At least with the Byker Grove boys fronting programmes about the marvels of the universe and colonialism we would know they were talking bollocks - that is, we would know before we started watching.